02 – The House That Love Bought

I glance at my watch and mutter, “Where is she?” It’s not like Georgina Belmont to be late to anything.

The top piece of my collar lightly chafes against the fresh razor burn on my neck, the tie feels too tight. I smile calmly to Mother as she watches the auctioneer setting up the block. The only reason I am here, and why she had nabbed me from the office, is to keep Georgie in line today. We both know how critical this land is to the future of my parents’ company. Mother’s sharp gaze forces me to break eye contact as we wait on the front steps of Haven Hill Plantation.

I hear the diesel pickup before I see it tear into the drive. My eyes narrow when I see Georgie in the passenger seat. My jaw clenches when that fucking meat head leans over to fish something from the glove box. Him being anywhere near my Georgie makes my blood boil.

I watch as that fuck hands her something, and then she is touching up her make-up. Why would Georgie need to touch up her make-up this early in the morning? My eyes trail down her petite form as she slips her heels on and clasps them, causing me to growl quietly.

What the fuck is going on here?

I walk forward only to witness her then leap up and throw herself on that fucking asshole. His smug look right at me as he wraps his arm around her to give her a squeeze causes me to clench my fists.

Not wanting to upset Georgie when he sets her down, I plaster the smile of a lover on my lips.

“Hey there, Georgie! Glad you could finally make it out here.” I jab playfully about her tardiness.

“What are you doing here? I handle the auctions for Belmont Real Estate.” Her tone is razor sharp, but low. She does not enjoy making a scene in public, much like her father.

I chuckle nervously and pull her in to give her a kiss when she turns her cheek. My fingers tighten on her waist and I guide her towards the door. It’s my turn to give the smug grin to that meat head prick.

When we reach the door she slips from my grasp like a greased hog and puts Billy Coeh between us. I’ve already provided the details for Mahoney Renovations and I ease back to allow them to register with the girl behind the table but I don’t take my eyes off Georgie for one second.

She’s wearing that skirt that hugs her hips the way she knows I love. The round curve of her backside is perfect as the hints of the garter straps push through the fitting fabric when she bends down to sign in. My eyes drink up every inch of those legs clad in the black silk stockings with the seams that disappear under the skirt. Her blouse is barely tucked, and a bit crumpled, but that isn’t what makes me clench my jaw again, looking at her.

What makes me clench my jaw is that fucking prick’s meaty paw groping her with the pretense of applying her name badge when she leans up. Followed by her girlish giggle as she blushes. I narrow my eyes again and analyze her appearance better. By the look of them, there is something wholly inappropriate going on here.

Does she have one-too-many buttons unfastened?

Why is her hair barely pulled up?

Why the fuck is she riding in his truck?

I move forward to extract her from that brute when Mother clears her throat and looks at me expectantly. My gaze tears away from Georgie and Billy to see her holding her arm out. With a resigned sigh, I take her arm and escort her into the main house of the plantation.

“Oh, look at those!” Georgie’s voice bubbles behind me. She has an engineering degree and loves all this old shit turned new bullshit. The only thing this plantation deserves is a bulldozer and to be rezoned to a mix of entertainment and multi-family housing.

“We could salvage most of the floors. Look there! Is that original?” She gasps and flits by Mother and me to get a better look at some moldy piece of trim in the corner. Her meat head entourage follow like she’s a bitch in heat.

I have tuned out Mother entirely as I watch this little show unfold.

She’s laughing at their stupid jokes about work they won’t do, and hanging all over Billy Coeh as she gushes about the house. I thought that asshole was married. “We could restore this whole house! It will be amazing. Look at this! This wall could come down to make sight lines from the kitchen all the way to the back veranda, floor to ceiling windows. Oh, man! Is that a garden out there?”

I glower at her absolute radiance in the sunlight.

“Richard, are you listening?”

“Yes, Mother,” I mutter, having no idea what she is droning on about.

“We’ll have to run sewer, Ethernet, and cable out. Oh, I definitely have to get this one, Billy!” Georgie’s voice rings across the veranda overlooking the gardens as we finish the tour.

Mother’s nails dig into my forearm as Georgie exclaims her desire. “You are supposed to keep her in line, Richard.” Mother hisses at me.

“I will,” I gently pat her hand and turn my attention to the approaching Georgie. Any hint of my displeasure is washed away as Georgie coddles up to me, giving me an eyeful of her delicious cleavage from her shirt being unbuttoned one too many buttons. I wrap my arm around her as the auction begins.

“Bids start at five hundred thousand. Do I hear Five-fifty?” The auctioneer’s fast speech pattern blares over the speakers to hush the hundreds of bidders in attendance today.

“Two million,” Mother calls as she raises her auction paddle.

“I really want this one, Rich,” Georgie mewls at me and I swear my dick gets hard in a heartbeat. “Two five!” Georgie calls, raising her paddle.

My brow furrows as I am held hostage between Mother and Georgie. Tearing my glance away from Georgie, I see Mother’s displeasure and her stance warns me I need to get Georgie under control or there will be hell to pay.

“I know you do, darlin’ I could see the edges you would love to restore. But you know this lot would easily take twelve to do right. The cost alone to run utilities makes it not worth it.” My hand gently pets up her back, tracing along the bra line as I confirm it is my favorite. I want her to curl into me, shy about the affection, and away from the auctioneer. “Mother will keep the charm of the main house, the Historical Society will make sure of that.”

“Three million,” Mother snaps, cutting us a sharp look.

Georgie stiffens in my grasp and flicks her paddle. “Three five.” The look on her face isn’t one I have seen before. Normally, she is more compliant than this. The fire in her eyes and the way her jaw clenches sets warning bells off in my head.

“Five million,” Mother snarls.

The rest of the bidders have fallen to the peanut gallery to watch the two largest firms in Savannah duke it out. Mother stares daggers at Georgie, waiting for the auctioneer to declare her the winner.

Georgie smiles at me as she leans up, and her lips brush my earlobe. Any sane thought I had is out the window as I imagine her lips around my cock. “Perhaps you can get Amber and Carrie to help you with Mommy dearest,” she coos. My blood runs cold as she slips from my limp grasp. This is not going to end well.

“Ten million, cash.” Georgie flicks her paddle.

The audible gasp from the crowd makes the auctioneer choke. “I have ten million to Belmont. Going once. Going twice.”

I’m still staring at Georgie, shocked by her cutting statement. How did she know about them? Then the number she called filters through the fog. My eyes widen in fear as I desperately try to calculate the financial damage in my head. Her father is going to murder me.

“Twelve, cash,” Mother shouts.

Has my mother gone mad? Ten was nine million too much for this shit hole. Between Georgie’s revelation and the shock that my mother would lose her mind over a property slows my ability to deal with this situation.

“Fifteen,” Georgie chirps as she stares directly at me.

My heart stops. I’m so dead.

I cannot believe my ears when Mother spits out, “Twenty.” There is no way we have that kind of liquid income. Mother would have to sleep with investors to make that kind of money, and she is way too much of a shark to spread her legs.

Then I realize Georgie knows everything, and it is over between us. Her eyes burn cinders through my soul.

One glance at Mother confirms everything. She isn’t looking at the auctioneer. She is looking at Georgie.

Oh, God. No!

Panic fills me as Georgie starts to raise her paddle and I make a last ditch effort to stop her. In her rage, she will burn her father’s entire legacy. Mother is no longer interested in only purchasing the property. She is punishing me for losing control of Georgie.

“You can’t,” I plead with Georgie, shaking my head no. I rest my hand on her wrist to hold her paddle in place. “Mother is only going to raise you until we both are penniless and dead,” I whisper.

The smug look on Georgie’s face fills me with dread. She has won, and she knows it. I swallow hard when she flicks her wrist and says in such a sweet tone it could give me a toothache, “Momma Mahoney, this would be the best wedding gift. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for Rich and I to merge our firms by buildin’ this house and makin’ a profit from it? Why don’t you let me have it? Twenty-five.”

My mouth hangs open, shocked at the sudden charming princess bit.

Marriage? What? Didn’t she just want to kill me?”

Sweat pours down the back of my shirt as I see Mother tilt her head, watching Georgie like a hawk who is about to pluck the field mouse from the grass. We are all doomed if they keep going. She steps closer to Georgie, and I’m fairly certain what little blood flow I had left seizes in my veins.

“Thirty-five. Split evenly between Belmont and Mahoney.” She shouts across the veranda. Then lowers her tone to jab at Georgie, “Mahoney funds depend on you actually marrying my son, of course.”

Georgie has never been a good liar, and the words cut her in a way I thought only I could. Tears are clinging to her lashes and her cheeks flushes red as she struggles to keep her composure. Somewhere, deep down, guilt gnaws at me. She truly deserves better. This is what my ‘love’ has done to her. Then her expression darkens and I shake my head no.

“Thirty five five. Belmont alone.”

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